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Old 09-12-2010, 06:42 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 47

Talking First Family Christmas Trip with 13 Merry Mickeys and 1 So-So Scrooge

Not only is this my first PTR, it’s almost my very first post here at DIS. Keep this in mind, and please bear with me!

I took my first WDW trip 13 years ago for my sweet sixteen. That trip included my dad, mom, and sister. We spent 5 nights at the All Star Jazz in the middle of the sweltering summer. The family’s grown since then so our cast is much larger this go-round. Not only that, but we’ll have a chance to enjoy WDW in cooler temperatures (hopefully not TOO cool!)

The who:
Me – The pseudo-planner for this vacation. A travel agent friend of my grandmother’s booked the trip for us. I’m almost embarrassed about how excited I am for this trip. I’ve been obsessed since I found the DIS boards and discovered touringplans. The cousins now assume I’m calling about something “disney” every time I call. When I’m not researching, I’m busy Disney shopping.

DH – The Scrooge. I may be exaggerating a little, but not by much. First time WDW’er, but has been to Disneyland, as he grew up in LA. He's entirely too cool to be excited.

DD(s) – Both 9. Both Disney first-timers. They’re both very excited about Toy Story Mania because they’ve shown it on the Disney Channel evidently. Other than that, they don’t know much about WDW.

DSis - 27 by the time we make it to WDW. This will be her second visit, like me.

My Mom and Dad – No telling how many trips they’ve made. I believe I remember hearing my mom say she first visited when the park opened because her father worked at the park.

Grandmother – The one who made this all possible. We’ve talked about this trip for a couple years now, but she made it happen. It seems like almost as soon as she mentioned wanting to do this, we had airline tickets in hand.

Aunt, Uncle, Cousins (22 and 20,) Second Cousin (7 mos,) and Uncle’s Father – I believe they took a family trip to WDW about 10 years ago.

The what: 4 day Park Hopper with Dining plan.
The when: December 19-24
The where: Saratoga Springs. 2 Studios and 1 3-Bedroom Villa.

Hopefully I'll get my 10 posts up soon so that I'll be allowed to post pictures.

More to come very soon!

Last edited by alexi120; 09-13-2010 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 364

Sounds exciting!!! Hopefully your DH warms up to the idea before he gets there, but if not I am sure he will fall under the Disney spell.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 47


One of the most exciting aspects of this trip will be using our Dining Plan. I’ve heard lots of wonderful things about the convenience, but I had no idea I would need to make ADR’s so early. To say the least, I was shocked when I first read that you could book ADR's up to 180 days prior to your arrival. About three weeks ago, I got on the phone with the out-of-town family as we looked online at the restaurants together. We picked a couple favorites and I made my reservations call.

I had already decided what parks we would visit when so asking for ADR’s would be simple. I thought. My number one choice, Le Cellier, was booked for the solid week we’ll be there. I was disappointed, but then the agent brought up the Candlelight Processional. I had seen it on the Disney site, but I didn’t know much about it. The holidays are important to our family, especially me (the Christmas Monster,) so I was so excited to hear these tickets were available (possible reason for the 30 minute wait to speak to someone.) She gave me a few options to choose from, and I snatched up an ADR for Teppan Edo the second she mentioned “hibachi.” We love Japanese! I had managed to miss this one in my search for restaurants online. She patiently made reservations for the remaining days, and an hour later, we came up with the following:

12/19 – Raglan Road
12/20 – Teppan Edo w/ Candlelight Processional
12/21 – Spirit of Aloha
12/22 – Chef Mickey’s
12/23 – 50’s Prime Time Diner

I’m wondering how all of these will work out with our large party. Do they stick to the ADR time fairly well, or will we have to wait an extra hour for such a large table? Will they split us up? I won’t complain as long as everyone gets fed, but it's nice to set some expectations.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:01 PM   #4
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 47

I'm already having trouble sleeping because of this trip. I'm so stinking excited! It must be from reading too much DISboards.

A little more about us:

Me - I'm a business analyst for a computer company, but I'd rather be a lottery winner. Prior to planning this trip, I only got this excited about Vegas. Now, Vegas hardly compares. Not to mention the fact that the kids can join in on the fun at WDW. Even still, they're not quite as excited as I am. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that I've been once before. I know what kind of magic to expect.

I love crafts, even though I'm not that crafty. I love photography, even though I'm not much of a photographer. I recently purchased my first dslr camera, and at least one child is already complaining about all the picture-taking.

I'm so completely thrifty. I'm always heading straight for the clearance rack. The kids are already trained well. They know their odds of mom buying something for them are much greater if it's on sale. "Sale" is one of our favorite words! Don't get me wrong though, I still LOVE to shop...especially online. If there's a coupon code to be used, I'm usin' it!

DH - My non-conformist. He's a consultant for my employer. We're opposites in more ways than one, but we compliment each other well. We make rather hilarious team. His quick wit and dry humor is really rubbing off on the kids. They make my life so entertaining. As I type, he's outside skateboarding with the kids (ours and the neighborhood's.) He spent several years in a band playing bass guitar. He's a man of many, many talents. He's our "scrooge" in this story. Although, he would deny it to the end.

DD - 9 years old. The punk princess. She loves all things girly...and all things NOT...just as long as she can decorate it. She doesn't talk, she sings. She doesn't walk, she dances. I wouldn't be one bit surprised if she turns out to be a drama major. She's loud, just like me, but she can't help it. She never knew any better!

DD - 9 years old. Yes, we have two. She wasn't born to me, but I claim her all-the-same. I have no idea to go about distinguishing between the two for the rest of this journey. She's 75% tomboy. She loves anything and everything as long as it's blue. She's the most active of the bunch. She doesn't talk, she squeels. She doesn't walk, she runs...or cart-wheels...or crawls around like an animal. She doesn't understand the meaning of "chill out." If she didn't pass out from exhaustion each day, she'd never sleep.

I know this is only 4 of the 14, but we'll get to the rest soon.

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Old 09-16-2010, 09:53 PM   #5
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 47

Thrill Ride Preparation

As ashamed as I am to say it, we have never take the kids to an amusement park. They've always been afraid to ride anything at carnivals, so I've never wanted to waste the money. I have decided if they do well at Disney World, we'll get season tickets to Six Flags next year. I thought I had some 'fraidy-cats on my hands....and then....

Yes, they are LOVING it!

Although, in all fairness, it started off like this...

One of them was scared to death last time we tried this. She even went as far as to make the operator stop the ride. I told her that if she wanted to get ready for Disney, this was how to do it. I'm so proud. She came off screaming "I'm ready for Tower of Terror now, Mom!!" Let's hope so. I plan on riding it more than once.

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Old 09-21-2010, 08:24 PM   #6
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 47

She hates having her picture taken, but she wanted to try on her first pair of ears. Hesitantly, she compromised. I LOVE these ears. They just came in the mail with lots of great Mickey gear. Although we live in Austin, it's been hard to find Texas Longhorns Disney shirts. Low and behold, they had them online. We'll wait on the pics for those when we get to the park.

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